Indian Hills Community College is in its sixth decade of providing post-high school education to residents of the college’s ten-county area and beyond. Indian Hills, however, is also allowing students still in high school to get a taste of college through the concurrent enrollment program. And, in significant numbers, high school students are getting more than a taste of college. Many of them are obtaining a huge head start on the number of credits they need to earn a college degree or diploma.
Concurrent enrollment allows high school students the chance to enroll part-time in college courses while still in high school. The benefit to students is they get their college education started early, they receive hands-on instruction in a rigorous curriculum and they earn both high school and college credit at no cost to them or their families.
The students can take these courses on an Indian Hills campus, in their high school, or online, with both high school and IHCC instructors doing the teaching.
Cammie Richards is the director of Indian Hills’ Connect 2 College Program and oversees the concurrent enrollment program. She points out that the participating school district pays for the cost of the classes. “To give you an idea of the savings,” Richards says, “if a student took 30 credits at Indian Hills over their junior and senior years of high school, they will have saved over $5,000, just in tuition.”
The concurrent enrollment program was established primarily for students who wanted to get started on their college general education credits. But Richards notes that Indian Hills has increased the opportunities for career and technical education offerings for these students through an ever-expanding number of career academies.
“Our 11 career academies, located all across our district, give students an opportunity to choose a field in agriculture, auto technology, business, computer science, culinary arts, health sciences, landscaping, lasers, machine technology, bioprocessing or welding,” Richards explains. Students learn in a hands-on environment, giving them the skills to later enter that field if they choose.
Along with the cost savings, Richards emphasizes that the concurrent enrollment classes put the high school students at a big advantage when they begin college. “They have college credits already and they get an idea of what it’s like to be full-time college students.”
Indian Hills recently began offering a Connect 2 College scholarship for concurrent enrollment students who choose to continue their education at IHCC. The $600 award is applicable toward tuition, books, and fees.
For additional information about the concurrent enrollment program at Indian Hills or the new scholarship contact Cammie Richards at 641-683-5277.